Plans Puzzle Panel
ZBA Considers Deck on Washington
Story by John Thomas
At last week’s public hearing at the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, a resident applied for a zoning variance to install a deck at the rear of her home on Washington. The deck would connect to the existing deck on the Elizabeth Street side of the house. It will encroach about 10 feet into the right of way along Washington, requiring the variance. But the board had some problems with the drawings submitted. Dimensions in one drawing didn’t match the other, and one end of the deck was not on any of the drawings. One of the board members made the point, the information submitted should be correct and shouldn’t have conflicting information. The discussion led to an insight into the variance and approval process between the ZBA and Planning Board. Village Planner Gary Palumbo pointed out the ZBA only gets involved when an applicant needs a variance from the zoning code. He said the ZBA says where an applicant can build something; the Planning Board says how they can build it. The public hearing was closed, and the board discussed the application. Mr. Palumbo said he had received, just before the meeting, a survey of the lot in question. He passed out copies. The survey helped clear up where the deck is going. The deck is more of a walkway that will be 4 x17 feet, and lead from the southeast corner of the home to the southwest corner and meet with the existing deck. With this information, the board felt they could discuss the application. The variance would allow the deck to extend about 10 feet into the required front setback along Washington Street. A motion was made to show the board had determined the benefits to the applicant outweigh the detriment to the neighborhood and do not impact the health and safety to others. The motion passed, and the variance was granted.
The board also held a public hearing on plans by M&T Bank to allow a narrower parking lot aisle than required when they restripe the parking lot at the bank building at 49 Washington. Currently, the parking spaces run parallel to Washington and Mill streets. Mr. Palumbo explained that over the winter, with the parking stripes covered, people were parking perpendicular to Washington and there were no problems. The Planner said changing the parking spaces to perpendicular to the road makes more sense, but will reduce the drive aisle in front of the building from 24 to 20 feet, requiring a variance. One board member asked if the parking spaces could be skewed (diagonal) in the lot. Palumbo said to have diagonal spaces in the lot; it would have to be changed to a one-way lot. He said there is no mention of diagonal parking in the Village’s parking codes. Board members looking over the plans seemed to feel making part of the parking lot one-way with diagonal spaces could work. A representative from the bank was unable to make the meeting, so the discussion was tabled, and the board moved to send the bank a notice asking them to look at alternative striping plans for the lot. The meeting was adjourned.